Entries from August 2013

20 Weeks | Half Baked

August 29, 2013



Pregnancy math is confusing, y’all. For example, you have to add 2 weeks to the date you conceived to actually determine how pregnant you are – so the fetus may be 6 weeks old but you’re actually 8 weeks pregnant. Oh, and let’s discuss weeks vs. months: before I was pregnant I rolled my eyes at people who told me they were 27 weeks pregnant and that their child was 22 months old. I NEED MONTHS AND YEARS PEOPLE. But now that I’m pregnant, I get it. Each week is a milestone that deserves it’s own recognition. And then there are trimesters – which are typically thought of as 3 months each. If there are 4 weeks in 3 months and you’re pregnant for 9 months than each trimester should be 12 weeks. But you’re pregnant for 40 weeks – and 3 times 12 is only 36. So at 18 weeks I thought I was half-way through this pregnancy. But it turns out 20 weeks (aka 5 months) is half way. Meaning I’ll actually be pregnant for 10 months!? WTF?!

So here I am. 20 weeks and this bebe is half-baked. I have some deadlines (new Braid website + a 4th ECourse + A BOOK!) that are coming up around the due date of this little guy. Sometimes 9 months (but really 10) feels like a long time to get used to the idea of bringing a whole other person into your world. But mostly it’s starting to blow my mind that in just 4.5ish months I’m going to have a kid. If you’re a designer you may often try and find the “Apple Z” (undo) button for life. Well, last night I was searching for the pause button.

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My sister generously gave me these oversized overalls she bought for herself on Etsy. It gave me flashbacks to my college days when I had a part-time job cutting fabric for crafters, DIYers, and homemakers at Hancock’s Fabrics. Smug pregnant women* (who would announce they were 37.5 weeks pregnant) would come in freaking out over exact yardage and getting just the right color of pink or blue gingham for the nursery. They were always wearing overalls with Winnie the Pooh on them. I remember thinking, the total snot I was, just because you’re having a baby, which P.S. billions of women before you have done, no big deal, doesn’t mean you have to dress like one. I began to develop a strange bias against pregnant women. I’m grateful that with age has come compassion. Now I know these women were freaking out because A) they were probably hungry and B) freaked out and C) had to be at the fabric store when they probably couldn’t actually care less about the perfect pink or blue curtains. Now I know they were wearing overalls because they’re pretty much the best and in 2002 Pinterest wasn’t around to tell you that pegged legs were rad and that Winnie the Pooh wasn’t ironic enough to be cool.

But for good measure, I made sure my neon pink bra was appropriate exposed enough to scandalize strangers and keep me from feeling like I was dressing myself like an infant.

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Field Notes & Observations: 
• We found out last Saturday that we’re having a boy! We have a few name ideas but nothing picked out. Let me know if you have any ideas!
• I started getting what I think may be Braxton Hicks contractions (aka practice contractions). My sister had them all through both of her pregnancies so I’m not worried about it.
• With that, I’m drinking at least 64 oz. of water a day and taking fish oil supplements to stay hydrated (dehydration can cause these contractions).
• My armpits have become super sensitive. I have crazy razor burn and even waxing doesn’t seem to be much better with ingrown hairs. I’m considering laser hair removal (second attempt) – but I’m wondering if it’s safe while pregnant?
• I had a minor melt down in the Lululemon fitting room – as I was doing the bend over see-thru test – about my growing ass. I remember back in my agency days when a pregnant co-worker told me she felt fat. My response was “WHAT!? You’re pregnant! You look fantastic!” And she did. But now, I totally get it.
• That said, I’m starting to dig the bump.
• I’m realizing that when you see a pregnant woman, and recognize her as obviously pregnant, she’s probably well into her third trimester.
• I could be a lot better about taking my prenatal vitamins – meaning, I kind of forgot about them for a few weeks.
• I could also be better about meditating and sleeping a full 8 hours a night
• I have been dry brushing (good for the lymphatic system, circulation, and cellulite) daily
• I’m also proud of the fact that I’ve been flossing consistently and not biting my nails
• Jeremy and I bought the baby these blocks on Woot this morning. I don’t want to overdo it on toys but blocks like these were my favorite when I was a kid. I couldn’t resist.
*I thought this Garfunkel and Oates YouTube hit, Pregnant Women are Smug, was hilarious when it came out a few years ago. And it still is.

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty
• 15 weeks | It Takes Time
• 16 weeks | Vivid Dreams
• 17 weeks | Pump It Up
• 18 weeks | Bebe Glows
• 19 weeks | Boy or Girl? 

About A Boy

August 28, 2013


Pictured above: baby Jeremy

In case you missed it on Instagram, it turns out that Jeremy and I are having a boy! A BOY! It doesn’t change much in how we’ll raise this kiddo. I hope he’ll be an artist & adventurer (like his mom) and a super smart feminist (like his dad). On a more shallow note – it was fun to immediately run out with my mom and sister to stock up on a few ovary-quenching outfits for this little guy.

I’ll share more on the pregnancy front in my 20 week maternity series post going up tomorrow (which I’ve also started collecting in a page of its own here).

In the meantime – we don’t have a name picked out yet! I have a few ideas, but we won’t be naming him until he’s born so feel free leave name ideas in the comments. Who knows … you just might name this baby! 

Coaching for Creatives | This Is It

August 27, 2013


Yesterday I was coaching one of my very favorite clients. I just buzz with energy after our conversations – I hope she does too. She’s a yogi & graphic designer who lives in a bustling Washington, D.C. and really craves space. So I asked her “What is space? What does ‘space’ look and feel like?” She had a hard time answering. You see, most of us have a vague idea of what we want. We want things like “peace” or “inspiration” or “love” or even a “dream job” but we don’t really know what that looks like. So part of coaching creatives is digging down and getting very specific about what those dreams and desired goals actually look and feel like – with all 5 senses.

A great way to figure out what it is you want is to imagine your ideal day. I did a post over on Braid Creative – complete with a downloadable worksheet – to help you figure it out. Then, from there create a Pinterest board (or even a real life moodboard with clippings from your favorite magazines) to start bringing this vague vision of your perfect future self to life. My yogi / designer client found it really helpful to finally put real shapes, forms, smells, and textures to a vague, unformed feeling. She had made her dreams tangible – which in turn makes it achievable. You have to know what it is you want before you can go out and get it. The more specific you can get, the easier it will be to manifest.

My yogi / designer coaching client shared with me a simple but powerful mantra she had been playing around with which is: THIS IS IT. But she didn’t quite know how to use this mantra to achieve her own vision of what life could be. So I coached her to repeat the mantra “THIS IS IT” as she moved through her day – from waking up in her bed, to eating breakfast, to going to her day job, to teaching yoga, to having dinner with friends. If she says the mantra “THIS IS IT” while she’s doing something that is not aligned with her core desires her gut + heart will tell her “NO. THIS IS NOT IT, SISTER.” If she says the mantra “THIS IS IT” while she is in fact on the right path she will feel gratitude and manifest those dreams and goals so much faster than if her accomplishments were going unacknowledged.

This is it. 

I love the THIS IS IT mantra so much that I’ve adopted it for myself as well. When I feel stressed about deadlines I can say “THIS IS IT” and immediately feel thankful that I work for myself and have created an amazing business with my sister. When I let my mind wander to a list of tasks while I’m on my morning walk I can say “THIS IS IT” and instantly be brought to the present moment – and instead of running through my to-do’s I can soak up the sun and appreciate the sounds of the birds in the trees. When I’m feeling rushed to get dinner going I can say “THIS IS IT” – turn on some music and transform the act of making dinner into a moving meditation and time for graceful reflection. And when I’m on the couch playing just one more game of Diamond Mine I can say “THIS IS IT” – put my phone down and snuggle with my family instead.

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P.S. If you like this post you might like my DIY Coaching for Creatives Email Sessions. It’s 4 emails x 4 weeks (16 emails total) for just $40. Complete with worksheets, exercises, mantras, meditations, and to-dos for time management, decision-making, and strategies for living more of what you love – in work and life. You can learn more about what you’ll get and purchase anytime here.


More or Less?

August 26, 2013

I like things. THINGS. Stuff. Material goods. I used to be quite the shopper. At some point, a few years ago, I became satisfied with the things I had and became more concerned for my soul. The economy was tanking anyway and it became trendy to simplify. Plus, Jeremy’s more frugal antics and hankering for delayed gratification started to rub off on me. I saw the point of spending our money on things that would give us a return later in life. Like real estate and travel. At the same time I started contemplating what really makes us happy – I started studying metaphysics and reading books on the philosophy of stoicism.

Today, 50% of the blogs I read consistently share really rad and often hand-crafted clothes, home goods, and artisan wares. The other 50% of the blogs I read consistently share great advice on how to find peace through simplicity, food, and making do with what you’ve got. Aesthetically I’m of the opinion that More is More. I’d rather look at The Selby over Dwell any day. Morally, I believe that Less is More – that I already have everything I need.

Still, right this second here’s a list of things I want:
A heart ring
• And some first knuckle rings too.
• I’d also like to decorate my arms in mismatched bangles, bracelets, and cuffs
• A tee-pee
• A fire pit
• Cozy floor pillows
• Handmade coffee mugs, plates and bowls
Air plants and succulents
• Art and more art
• A jackalope (thanks Dad!)
• A lululemon hoodie
• A new camera lens (5oMM 1.2)
• Nail polish
• A Subaru
• All The Cute Things for bebe

None of these things in themselves are evil – but is my want for things a warning sign? Am I trying to plug up some sort of insecurity with stuff? At what point does decoration become soul-deteriorating? How many pairs of Lululemon pants do I need anyway? Do I need a better philosophy of life? Maybe I should go meditate.

I’d love to hear from you about your relationship with stuff. Leave me your thoughts in the comments.

19 Weeks | Boy or Girl?

August 23, 2013



Before I became pregnant I always imagined that I would want a girl when I had a kid. This desire was most likely born out of the fact that I’m female – therefore I am most intimate and familiar with issues girls face – and not necessarily a desire to have a little girl doll I could play dress up with (though, to be honest, I can get pretty swoon-y over baby fashions). It’s also important to note that I have one sister, Jeremy has two, and each of them have two boys each. We have 6 nephews, and one out-of-state niece, in our combined families – it’s on me and Jeremy to even out the score.

When I first found out I was pregnant I was surprised to find myself wanting a little boy. First off, I thought pregnant women didn’t care! I thought a pregnant woman’s only desire was for a healthy and happy baby – regardless of what kind of plumbing the baby was born with. But there I was – really wanting a boy. More specifically, I wanted a little Jeremy. Jeremy is much calmer, cleaner, rational, and compassionate than I am. I like him so much that I wouldn’t mind having a little more of him in this house. If we were to have a little Kathleen that kiddo would be doing some naked karaoke on the dining room table and refusing to brush her hair. And when she turns 13 she’ll cry everyday.

About 12 or so weeks into the pregnancy, while on a morning walk, I had a distinct feeling that this little bebe is a girl. And I got really excited about that – I mean, what’s so bad about naked karaoke anyway!? Since this initial feeling I’ve been convinced that I’m carrying a little lady. That is until we had our ultrasound on Tuesday – then I didn’t really know what to think!

Can we talk about the ultrasound for a second? I had no idea what to expect. I was thinking a typical doctor’s office with a small fuzzy ultrasound screen and fluorescent lighting. Instead we were ushered into what looked like a director’s suite with low-lighting and a huge flat screen TV. The tech found the baby – I about died from the cuteness of it’s little belly and Jeremy was fascinated by it’s spine. I was relieved that the baby had a head (a life long friend of mine going through medical school happened to share a story with me about an ultrasound she attended, revealing a headless baby and it became my new biggest fear). Everything seemed to check out and I couldn’t get enough of the baby face – in profile – straight on was … weird. The baby was moving around A LOT making the tech’s job a lot harder – but I was proud of my little active bean. The ultrasound lasted a lot longer than I expected but I was soaking it up and falling more in love with each body part examined – from the brain stem, to the nose and lips, to the kidneys, to the toes. I basically turned into complete mush (I think Jeremy did a lil’ bit too).

As the tech checked for hoo-ha or peen she told us to look away. I gave her an envelope with a girl box or boy box to check (just one, please) to keep it a secret from even ourselves. Now, my sister waited until both of her boys were born to find out that they were in fact boys. So I kind of assumed that I would wait to find out too. It’s nice to have a little mystery in a time where All The Information is so accessible to us at all times. But what I found, through my sister’s experience, is that giving birth to a baby is pretty shocking and surprising enough. So tomorrow with our families, altogether and all at the same time, we’ll be biting in to cupcakes filled with pink or blue icing to reveal if this bebe is a boy or girl. I’ll be posting the results to my Instagram tomorrow afternoon – follow me here and stay tuned!  For now, I want to hear your guesses! Let me know if you think it’s a boy or girl (and why)! 

I’ve told Jeremy that either way, I want to raise this baby to be compassionate, respectful, curious, brave, and adventurous. My hope is that this kid loves all the colors of the rainbow – pink and blue included – regardless of whether it’s a boy or girl. 

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Field Notes & Observations:
• Somewhere in the middle of my 19th week (after the above photo was taken) I really “popped”. I think I’m finally starting to look undeniably pregnant.
• It’s getting hard to bend over. Not because I’m physically that big but because it feels like I have a rock hard water balloon in my stomach (and I’m afraid I could pop it by bending over).
• I’ve become terrible at taking my prenatal vitamins and fish oil. It’s been weeks. I should get back on that.
• I can feel the baby moving daily now! I love it. Jeremy can sometimes feel it too when he puts his hand on my belly.
• A few times a day my uterus gets really hard (but not crampy). I’m told this may be Braxton-Hicks (practice) contractions. My sister got them all through her pregnancy and told me it’s nothing to worry about.
• I feel guilty when I (accidentally) don’t eat enough. And so it begins…
• I feel personally offended by people who are driving too fast down residential roads. Protective mama instincts are powerful stuff.
• I finally purchased a pair of maternity jeans with the panel from H&M. Now I’m just waiting for it to cool down enough to wear them. I cannot WAIT for fall. Until then, I’m still squeezing into my old clothes.
• I’ve decided not to choose a name for the baby until it’s born.

Related posts:
• 9 weeks | We Made Magic
• 13 weeks | Like A Gorilla
• 14 weeks | It’s Like Puberty
• 15 weeks | It Takes Time
• 16 weeks | Vivid Dreams
• 17 weeks | Pump It Up
• 18 weeks | Bebe Glows


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